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Why Are My Gums Bleeding?

One of the more common complaints we hear from patients is that their gums bleed when they brush or floss. While to some this can be a cause for alarm, the truth is, bleeding gums don’t always mean there’s a huge problem. But sometimes they do. So, how can you tell when to be alarmed and when not to be? Here’s what you should know about bleeding gums – and what you can do to stop the bleeding before it gets worse.


The most common reason gums bleed is gingivitis. Gingivitis is the reversible, first stage of gum disease. If you notice your toothbrush or floss is a little red, or your toothpaste is tinted pink when you spit it out, you most likely have gingivitis or are in danger of developing it. The good news is that at this early stage, gingivitis is reversible with diligent care. That means brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time and flossing between each tooth at least once a day. With regular practice, you should stop seeing red very soon!


Periodontitis is the next stage of gum disease. Gum disease is caused by inflammation of the gums due to bacteria. When bacteria creeps under the gum line, it can cause infection, and this infection can be extremely harmful to your teeth, gums and bones. In fact, if left untreated, you can even lose teeth, gum tissue and portions of your jaw. Unfortunately, once you have full-blown periodontitis, you cannot reverse it by simply brushing and flossing. You may require antibiotics or in severe cases, laser therapy. Laser therapy will remove infected portions of your gum tissue. Though it is less painful than earlier methods of treating periodontitis, it can still be painful, and it’s not something you want to have done if you can prevent it.

The good news is you can prevent it by properly caring for your teeth and gums before they become too infected to treat. If you are seeing red when you brush and floss, don’t ignore it. Pay attention to the warning signs your body is sending you and schedule an appointment with Dr. Hill as soon as possible. He can assess the condition of your teeth and gums and help instruct you on how to properly care for them going forward. Remember: Flossing and brushing shouldn’t hurt or cause you to bleed, and with regular, proper care, neither of these should be an issue for long.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hill, please call the office at (469) 640-9550.

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